Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment Preview

“That’s right. I’m going to resurrect the all-powerful demon Gigandet,” explains that piece of shit hack Manfred Long. “Legend tells of a great Book of Power that would allow for its resurrection. A book of such literary value that its destruction would leave the world a ruin for lack of artistic inspiration. Your agent has been in it for the long con. He was never sure you would be the one to create the BoP, but when we caught wind of your new YA novel on the Dark Web it became clear. Swamp Monster love interest? Genius. So he prepared to take the manuscript by force and find a buyer, I on the other hand prepared for the arrival of Gigandet. The greatest of all demons.” With that, Manfred Long (that hack) begins to laugh and laugh and laugh. Not willing to let this happen Patrick and Jamie use their twin powers to back flip their way over Manfred Long’s head and kick the gun out of his shitty hands. Manfred is stunned and suddenly another gunshot rings out. He falls as Patrick’s literary agent rises and pulls off his bulletproof vest. A quadruple agent! My God! “Patrick, I’m sorry. I know all along that Manfred Long was a hack and looking to double or triple cross us. His incredibly long expository statement and your fancy moves gave me just enough time to recover and put an end to this.” They shake hands. “There is still one thing I don’t understand,” says Patrick, but his literary agent stops him. “Officer Edwin O’Brien. FBI. Thirty-one years. Retiring tomorrow.” They all chuckle a bit. “I was serious, by the way,” says Officer O’Brien, “Those were some pretty serious moves you put on that piece of shit Manfred Long. If you ever want to give policing a try just give the academy a call and tell them Officer O’Brien sent yah.” That’s right! We’re finally doing it. We’re doing the Franchise-zzzzz cycle right by starting our journey through the Police Academy movies with both Police Academy (as a bonus) and Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment. There are seven films and all of them are terrible enough for BMT. We’ve talked about it long enough! Let’s go!

Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment (1985) – BMeTric: 41.4

policeacademy2theirfirstassignment_bmet

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(Pretty consistent over the years, although did venture into 50+ territory for a while. For the IMDb rating 5.7 isn’t nearly as terrible as I’d imagine, although I don’t think people tend to watch it these days unless they are looking to specifically watch … y’know … a Police Academy film. Huge jump in rating though … very very weird, the films are straight up not good!)

Leonard Maltin – BOMB –  Dreadful follow-up to 1984 hit (with different writers and director responsible). There are Dragnet episodes with more laughs than this movie.

(Love the niche burn. For all I know Dragnet was a laugh-riot.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Fs3W2Fqkds

(I kind of love that in both cases they end with a gun gag delivered by Tackleberry. But buckle up, another series of loose vignettes involving not particularly well known comedians from the 1980s … joy.)

Directors – Jerry Paris – (Known For: Police Academy 3: Back in Training; BMT: Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment; Notes: Won a Primetime Emmy for directing the Dick Van Dyke Show. His son appears in a bit part in the film.)

James Signorelli – (Known For: Elvira: Mistress of the Dark; Easy Money; BMT: Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment; Notes: Worked on the film for three weeks before being fired and replaced by Jerry Paris.)

Writers – Neal Israel (characters created by) – (Known For: Real Genius; Bachelor Party; Police Academy 3: Back in Training; Future BMT: Police Academy: Mission to Moscow; Look Who’s Talking Too; Police Academy 6: City Under Siege; Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach; Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol; BMT: Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment; Police Academy; Notes: Now mostly works in TV including a 2012 show called Dog with a Blog… I’d watch it.)

Pat Proft (characters created by) – (Known For: Real Genius; Bachelor Party; The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!; Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult; The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear; Hot Shots!; Hot Shots! Part Deux; Police Academy 3: Back in Training; Brain Donors; Future BMT: Police Academy: Mission to Moscow; Police Academy 6: City Under Siege; Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach; Mr. Magoo; Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol; Scary Movie 4; Scary Movie 3; High School High; Wrongfully Accused; BMT: Scary Movie 5; Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment; Police Academy; Notes: While he wrote pretty much every spoof movie ever, he only directed Wrongfully Accused.)

Barry W. Blaustein (written by) (as Barry Blaustein) – (Known For: Coming to America; The Nutty Professor; Boomerang; Police Academy 3: Back in Training; Future BMT: Nutty Professor II: The Klumps; Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach; Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol; The Honeymooners; BMT: Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment; Notes: Primarily known as a writer, he did direct The Ringer.)

David Sheffield (written by) – (Known For: Coming to America; The Nutty Professor; Boomerang; Police Academy 3: Back in Training; Future BMT: Nutty Professor II: The Klumps; Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach; Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol; The Honeymooners; BMT: Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment; Notes: Brother of Buddy Sheffield who was the head writer of In Living Color.)

Actors – Steve Guttenberg – (Known For: Home for the Holidays; Cocoon; Short Circuit; 3 Men and a Baby; Diner; The Boys from Brazil; Amazon Women on the Moon; Police Academy 3: Back in Training; The Bedroom Window; Rollercoaster; Zeus and Roxanne; Future BMT: Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol; 3 Men and a Little Lady; Cocoon: The Return; The Big Green; It Takes Two; High Spirits; Affluenza; Surrender; BMT: Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment; Can’t Stop the Music; Police Academy; Notes: The Gutes. Apparently beat out Bruce Willis for the lead in Police Academy. Classic Gutes.)

Bubba Smith – (Known For: Gremlins 2: The New Batch; Police Academy 3: Back in Training; Future BMT: Police Academy 6: City Under Siege; Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach; Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol; The Silence of the Hams; Stroker Ace; Black Moon Rising; BMT: Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment; Police Academy; Notes: Former professional football player that went on to have a pretty solid career in film. Died in 2011.)

David Graf – (Known For: The Brady Bunch Movie; Police Academy 3: Back in Training; Guarding Tess; Citizen Ruth; Irreconcilable Differences; Jing wu ying xiong; Four Friends; The Enforcer; Suture; Future BMT: Police Academy: Mission to Moscow; Police Academy 6: City Under Siege; Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach; Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol; Rules of Engagement; BMT: Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment; Police Academy; Notes: Died suddenly at the age of 51 from a heart attack. It was the same age his father died at also from a heart attack.)

Budget/Gross – $7.5 million / Domestic: $55,600,000

(A hugh smash hit given the budget, that is nuts! Given the lists below I had kind of assumed it was a bomb!)

#11 for the Comedy – Bumbling genre

policeacademy2_bumblingcomedy

(So this is also known as the Kevin James genre. This is also by far the least revenue we’ve seen for BMT, but it is also quite old. Arguably once adjusted this is one of the most successful even made. Smashed it in the 80s and 00s, but seems to be waning a bit in popularity. Just wait another two years and it might just come back to be honest.)

#56 for the Comedy – Sequel (Live Action) genre

policeacademy2_comedysequel

(Surprisingly mid-table to borrow a British-ism. Rebounded in the last year, so I imagine will see a few more comedy franchises pop up and die completing the current sequel-cycle.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 29% (4/14): No consensus yet.

(As usual pretty weak, but definitely a less positive take than the first. The consensus is basically “same old same old, although at least this one has Bobcat Goldthwait in it” Reviewer Highlight: They’re not movies so much as variety shows featuring talented young comics. – Paul Attanasio, Washington Post)

Poster – Sklog Skool 2: Flunkin’ Out (B-)

police_academy_two

(I like the darker blue overtone to the whole poster and the framing is more interesting (not to mention the slightly tilted subtitle). Still not the most interesting and they basically write a whole novel for the tagline.)

Tagline(s) – Watch out! They’ve got to clean up the worst crime district in the world. But that’s no problem. They’re the worst police force in the universe. (D-)

(Lol, what? It sounds like a placeholder that they ended up using because they got tired or forgot or something. At least it’s not offensive or something.)

Keyword(s) – blonde; Top Ten by BMeTric: 96.2 Epic Movie (2007); 94.6 Batman & Robin (1997); 90.9 Scary Movie 5 (2013); 90.3 Alone in the Dark (2005); 89.0 The Hottie & the Nottie (2008); 88.8 House of the Dead (2003); 87.4 Crossroads (I) (2002); 85.6 Piranha 3DD (2012); 84.6 Super Mario Bros. (1993); 82.5 Highlander II: The Quickening (1991);

(Smashing this list obviously. Kind of a weak list though … every movie will have a blond person in it presumably.)

Notes – G.W. Bailey had hoped to return as Lieutenant Harris, but was passed over in favor of Art Metrano as the antagonist in this film and Police Academy 3: Back in Training (1986). Bailey instead took a job working with Director Hugh Wilson on Rustlers’ Rhapsody (1985). On a day off, G.W. visited this movie’s set to film an uncredited cameo in the wedding reception scene. He appeared from behind, as the man having his picture taken by the photographer. (Fun fact)

Some original cast members had allegedly complained about losing screentime to the new cast members. At one point, shooting was shut down and a mediator was brought in to mellow the cast. (There weren’t that many new cast member though, just two and they kind of replaced two other cast members who left … I guess they expected to get more screentime than in the first one?)

Tim Kazurinsky was originally only to appear in the opening scene. But Director Jerry Paris enjoyed the chemistry between Kazurinsky and Bobcat Goldthwait, so the character of Sweetchuck was created during filming. (Interesting. Probably the only interesting part of the film)

The only movie in the original Police Academy heptalogy in which Callahan (Leslie Easterbrook) does not appear. After the first film was completed, Leslie was pregnant with a baby daughter, which prevented her from working on this sequel. (That is pretty funny)

Tim Kazurinsky’s character was to be called Mr. Schewchuk, as the name appears on the store window. Jerry Paris changed the name to Sweetchuck, after Bubba Smith flubbed several takes trying to pronounce “Schewchuk”.

Screenwriter Barry W. Blaustein stated that he was approached during production by Bubba Smith (Hightower), who complained about being given a minimal amount of lines, compared to the other actors. The reason for this was that Blaustein had been told by producers that “Bubba couldn’t do dialogue”. (That’s kind of offensive, he’s not that much worse than someone like Winslow to be honest)

The only Police Academy movie to feature Commandant Eric Lassard’s brother, Pete (Howard Hesseman). Howard was asked to reprise his role in later sequels, but he outright refused, saying that he regretted doing this film in the first place. (Ayup, makes sense)

Bill Paxton was offered the role of Zed, but turned it down, because the contract required him to also work in the future sequels. He ended up doing Aliens (1986) instead. (Smoirt)

Despite the fact that no such character exists in the movie, a blonde policewoman appears on the official poster. This was an inside joke made by the producers, as they had also requested that the same “sexy girl” be included on an earlier version of the first film’s poster. (huh)

In an interview prior to the start of production, David Graf said that he would not mind doing a series of Police Academy movies. “I’d do it strictly for the money. (Wife) Kathy and I went to a party at Hugh Wilson’s, and it was all very ritzy, with valet parking, caviar, champagne, all that, and while we were there, surrounded by all that luxury, Kathy and I were talking about how we were going to pay the gas bill. The gas company had told us they were going to discontinue service the next day. I don’t want to be in that position again. So, yes, I would do a series of Police Academies, for money.” True to his word, Graf appeared in all seven of the original Police Academy movies. (Genuinely awesome. One of the better characters in the films IMO.)

Upon being cast as seamstress Chloe Daniels, the love interest of Mahoney, Julie Brown had been told her role was that of a major ensemble player. Julie was later disappointed to learn that several of her scenes with Steve Guttenberg, bar two nearly cameo appearances, had been cut from the final print. (Hmmm, it didn’t really even occur to me that he didn’t have a love interest storyline in this one, funny.)

According to Producer Paul Maslansky , the returning actors and actresses from the original Police Academy (1984) wanted more money to work on the sequel. The above-the-line (principal talent) costs were about one and a half million dollars, including Maslansky’s own fee. (That is incredibly low, I had figured they’d make six figured, but some of them probably didn’t even clear 100K considering how big the cast is, which is weird to think about.)

Steve Guttenberg almost did not return for the sequel, as he was not pleased with the script as originally presented to him. After some re-writes, and a bigger paycheck, Guttenberg was happy to reprise Mahoney. (And then he appeared for two more as well)

In an interview shortly after this film’s release, Steve Guttenberg said that being in a major hit like Police Academy (1984), that earned a lot of money and extremely nasty reviews, was both a help and a hindrance. “There’s an advantage because the film makes a lot of money. But the disadvantage is that they want you to keep doing it again and again. You can get stuck in them. I was very reluctant to do the sequel, but there’s a contract. They’ve got options on me forever, but they’re very understanding about my desires.”

According to Bubba Smith, he made more money from his work on this film alone, than he had earned in ten years of playing professional football. This was due to Bubba having requested a 2 percent piece of the movie’s profits, in lieu of a higher salary prior to shooting. (Noice)

According to Julie Brown, Steve Guttenberg was not very nice to her on set. While filming the street fair scene, where Mahoney takes Chloe on a date by riding the Ferris wheel, Steve refused to go through with their scripted kissing scene, telling Julie that his character would not kiss hers. At Guttenberg’s insistence, the entire romantic subplot with Mahoney and Chloe ended up being deleted from the final cut. (Wowzah, sounds like a dick. I hope there is a better second side to that story for Guttenberg’s sake)

(At around one hour and twenty-three minutes) The monster truck Tackleberry drives away in, with his bride, is Bigfoot 3, the third version of the first ever monster truck built. The truck returns (Bigfoot 6) in Police Academy 6: City Under Siege (1989), also driven by Tackleberry. (WHAT? That is awesome … does Bigfoot have an IMDb profile?! … It does not, boo)

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